As midnight loomed over William’s house,
Tiffany bunkered into a sound sleep, unaware that
Butchie’s skilled hands, covered in thin leather
gloves, were prying at the lock on the backdoor.
The intense moon offered just enough light as Butchie
shooed Pumpkin Face back and gave her the thumbs
up. The solid framed house remained quiet. They
stepped inside. Tank followed, quickly pushing Pumpkin
Face. Butchie tapped Tank on the shoulder, passing
to her a box cutter and duct tape. She signaled
with two fingers as they gathered in a huddle.
“I’ll go to the nursery. If she’s
not in there, bring her to me and keep the noise
The threesome crept upstairs, one by one, clearing
a path for each. Butchie peered into the nursery,
standing up straight, a tingling sensation rousing
her fingertips as she spotted the back of Jordan’s
perfect round head. She waved Tank and Pumpkin Face
forward, winking at them with a sly smile, “Tank,
stay at her face. On my cue, tie her feet up as
soon as her eyes pop.”
Tank slid across the floor, peering into Tiffany’s
room, stepping on her tippy toes with Pumpkin Face
behind her. Filled with adrenaline, Tank stood above
Tiffany’s body filled with jealousy, her life
appearing so sweet. The light on Jordan’s
infant monitor began to flash as Butchie settled
into the rocking chair with the sleeping child.
As Butchie’s hummed, the lullaby began to
broadcast softly through the monitor. Tiffany’s
eyes sprung open. Tank’s forearm crushed her
throat. Pumpkin Face jammed her knee into Tiffany’s
thighs as a knife flashed in plain view.
“Hey bitch,” Tank whispered, filled
with criminal intensity, “Don’t make
a sound or I’ll cut your damn throat.”
Tiffany’s eyes flashed wildly as Pumpkin Face
wrapped her ankles, jumping towards the headboard
with her hand ripping into Tiffany’s hair.
She gagged her mouth with a sock. Duct tape followed
in four strips across her cheeks, all the while,
Tiffany lay frantic, wondering who had her infant
Pumpkin Face bound her wrists and led her into the
nursery, encouraged by a knife and a glock clutched
in Tank's free hand. Tiffany’s eyes bulged,
her face now rippling with horror. Butchie cradled
her son, looking up at Tank.
“Put her right at my feet.”
Tank yanked her forward as Tiffany began to cry,
shaking her head, understanding her demise.
“Yeah,” Butchie said, “You know
the drill, once you earn your stripes, you keep
Tiffany shook her head in resistance. Tank punched
her in the stomach, watching her curl over in throbbing
pain, unearthing the trauma in her womb. She shoved
her face under Butchie’s boot and waited for
“That’s right Jordan,” Butchie
teased, “Mommy’s an ‘ole gang
banger on the run.” Tank wrenched Tiffany’s
face to the side, slicing her face open in the very
spot her old initiation scar appeared.
Tiffany screamed through the tape, trembling before
Pumpkin Face’s eyes. Butchie hushed her with
a stern kick as blood pooled into her ear.
“Think Tiffany. Tank tried to call you for
more cash and you sittin’ around acting like
you’re a fucking celebrity.”
Butchie stood up, pretending to fumble Jordan, “Whoa...whoa
boy,” she teased, placing Jordan back into
his crib as the unsuspecting infant continued to
slumber. Butchie sat on the floor next to her as
Tank straddled Tiffany at the hip with Pumpkin Face
minding the door.
“Now,” Butchie ordered, cleaning her
rugged nails with the tip of the knife, “It
ain’t like you can ask for help knowing what
we know right?” Butchie grabbed her chin,
watching Tiffany agree, snot flaring from her nostrils.
Butchie turned her face, admiring her stripes.
“You tell on us, Lady Dee tells the law you
conspired on Portia for months to get that jump
off right.” Butchie deliberated further, “You
may have to do some time for that shit. Even if
you get probation, nobody in your fake ass family
is ever gonna look at you the same again.”
Tears streamed from Tiffany’s eyes, burning
the exposed wound.
“Shush now,” Butchie ordered, patting
her trembling shoulder, “You’ll wake
Butchie took an envelope out of her pocket and laid
it on Tiffany’s heaving chest.
“Now, inside that envelope is some importat
information. By Monday you need to be done and heading
home until we call you again.”
She motioned Pumpkin Face and Tank to start removing
“We’re gonna leave real quiet, so you
can get to know your new scar.”
Butchie yanked Tiffany’s hair as a reminder.
“Don’t try to run because we’ll
find you. And when Tank calls..., make sure you
answer the damn phone.”